UNLIKE in their previous two meetings, Kaya FC–Iloilo needed a late Jovin Bedic winner to overcome a stubborn Global Cebu. The victory marked Iloilo’s final game in the 2018 Philippines Football League, and ensured the club would enter the upcoming Copa Paulino Alcantara on a high.
“It’s a great way to finish the league. We’ll build on this win heading into the cup. It was a non-bearing game but the boys showed character to get the win. All my players have had the feeling of starting a game in this 25-game league, and 99% were able to play a full 90. Having said that, that gives our players enough time to be ready for the cup,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida.
“But like what I’ve mentioned before, we can’t afford to be complacent in the cup. Based on the ranking in the league, Global and JPV Marikina are in the bottom two. But still, the team we’ll be facing in the cup will have a different lineup, especially Global. They’ll have a different lineup and new coach.”
The big news before the match was 20-year-old Dean Ebarle. The former St.Benilde standout was handed his full debut for Kaya, and the youngster made the most of his outing at left back. Alongside Mike and Audie Menzi, Masanari Omura, and Zach Banzon in goal, the untested defensive line kept Global out to earn a clean sheet.
Had it not been for Michael Casas’ inspired performance, Kaya could’ve entered the half time break with a lopsided lead. Within the opening 25 minutes, Global’s shot stopper had made no less than six crucial saves to keep the game scoreless.
Connor Tacagni, Eric Giganto, Masanari Omura, Jovin Bedic, and Arnel Amita all had clear chances to score, but were denied by the heroics of the goalkeeper.
Miguel Tanton managed to beat Casas later in the half, but his curling effort from outside the box was kept out by the crossbar.
The second half was much less open than the opening period, but it evenutally yielded the game’s only goal. There were doubts whether the breakthrough would come at all, especially as Casas pulled off another point-blank save to deny Robert Lopez Mendy with 10 minutes remaining.
But in the 86th minute, the resistance was finally broken. Audie Menzi drilled a pass to Arnie Pasinabo, who flicked the ball over to Jovin Bedic for a well-taken volleyed finish.
“Syempre yung Global hindi birong team yan. Dati pa yang malakas talaga. Ini-expect namin ang magandang laro. Marami kaming chances sa first half, pero yung finishing lang talaga yung kulang, kaya medyo tumagal bago kami makagoal,” said Jovin Bedic, who capped off the league season with nine goals and seven assists.
“Of course I’m very happy sa na-contribute ko sa team. Lalo na dati na nahirapan ako sa scoring. But sa training wino-work namin yan everyday, so yung hard work namin really paid off.” (http://www.kayafc.com)